Starting Out with the Mediterranean Diet: A Quick Guide


When you eat healthy meals that are tasty and provide a balance of nutrients, it’s easier to stay on track with your diet. That’s what the Mediterranean diet is all about. It’s not as strict as the Keto or Paleo diets. This diet has been linked to lower heart disease, cholesterol levels, and weight loss. You can still have bread and dairy on this diet, but you should watch how much you eat.

Depending on your health goals, this diet might be a good fit. But it’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before making big changes to your diet.

History Of The Mediterranean Diet

The traditional Mediterranean diet has been around for ages, but it didn’t get recognized for its health benefits until the 1960s. Researchers found that people who followed this diet were very healthy and lived longer.

The Mediterranean diet is all about simplicity and eating local, unprocessed foods. People living around the Mediterranean Sea stuck to these foods instead of the more modern, processed diets that became popular in the 20th century. After much research, doctors and nutrition experts agreed that the Mediterranean diet was a good way to fight off many diseases linked to modern lifestyles.

What You’ll Eat When Following The Mediterranean Diet

If you decide to follow the Mediterranean diet, most of what you eat will be fruits, vegetables, whole grains like bread and pasta, and foods like beans, nuts, and seeds. These should be a part of every meal, with vegetables being the main focus. Carbs are okay in this diet, but they’re usually whole and come with fiber, and you’ll eat them with protein or fats.

Fish and seafood are important proteins in this diet. Fatty fish like salmon and tuna provide healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Avoid farm-raised fish when possible. You’ll also use olive or canola oil instead of butter or lard to cook and flavor your food.

You’ll eat things like poultry, eggs, cheese, and plain yogurt every other day or a few times a week, depending on what you like. Stick to natural dairy and cheese to avoid added stuff like preservatives or sugars. Goat cheese and feta cheese are common on this diet.

Sweets, like raw honey, are okay in small amounts, and other desserts are only for special occasions. Red meat isn’t eaten much, and processed meats like sausages and bacon are avoided. But you can have a glass of wine with your dinner—it’s actually good for your heart!

Who This Diet Is Well Suited For

This diet is good for people who want to make their heart healthier, lower their cholesterol, and maybe lose some weight without feeling like they’re missing out. But be careful—if you eat too many refined grains like white bread and pasta, it might actually raise your cholesterol. Stick to whole grains instead.

It’s also good for people who don’t do well on low-carb diets. The Mediterranean diet values regular exercise, and you’ll get energy from complex carbs and natural sugars in fruits. So, don’t be surprised if most of your calories come from carbs on this diet.

Lastly, it’s good for people who want to keep their weight steady and follow a diet they can stick to for a long time. Since you’re not cutting out any food groups completely, you can still get all the nutrients you need.


  • Focuses on balanced nutrition instead of extreme diets
  • Helps lower cholesterol levels
  • Decreases intake of saturated fats
  • Contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for you
  • May help lower blood pressure
  • Fairly easy to plan and follow
  • Provides enough energy for physical activity


  • Might not have enough protein if you don’t eat enough nuts, seeds, legumes, fish, and dairy
  • The high carb content could make some people feel hungry
  • Cravings for red meat might make it tough to stick with the diet
  • Blood sugar levels might change if you don’t choose the right kinds of carbs

How To Get Started On The Mediterranean Diet Plan

To start the Mediterranean diet, cut down on red meat. It’s okay to have it once in a while, but don’t eat it often. Instead, focus on eating whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Have fish or seafood once a day, and chicken, eggs, cheese, or yogurt once a day or every other day. Lamb is also okay once in a while.

Eat regularly throughout the day to keep your blood sugar stable and avoid feeling too hungry. Aim for three main meals and two to three snacks each day.

Try to cut back on sweets. It’s okay to have a treat now and then, but don’t eat them too often.

Choose the Mediterranean option in your Eat This Much food preferences. This will help you stick to the diet’s guidelines. You can also try Eat This Much Premium Account for two weeks for free to access more features, like week-long meal plans and automatic grocery lists. With these tools, along with trying new Mediterranean recipes, you’ll find a diet that’s both satisfying and healthy.

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